Wed, Aug 21, 9:13am by Kevin Pitstock
The Victorian government appointed John Walter as the new chair to the Victorian Responsible Gambling Ministerial Advisory Council. Mr Walter, who is both a business leader and a lawyer, replaces Professor Bruce Singh, who departed to become the inaugural Chair of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.
The appointment was announced last week by Edward O’Donohue, the Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation. John Walter’s appointment is set to last three years.
The RGMAC provides advice on the subject of responsible gambling policies to members of the Victorian Government. When Edward O’Donohue made his announcement, he said, “The Coalition Government is committed to re-establishing the Council with broadened community input.”
Mr O’Donohue added that John Walter would “Re-establish the Council as a forum for key members of the gambling industry and the community to provide advice to government on responsible gambling.”
The Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation went on to say the appointment of Walter, a long-time leader in Victoria’s business community, is meant to compliment the creation of the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation and the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation by the Coalition Government.
John Walter is a partner at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, a respected law firm which was founded in Melbourne in 1841 (though its headquarters is now in Sydney). Mr Walter also is a key member of APEC Business Advisory Council Committee. This committee provides advice to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, often called the APEC. Due to his background, John Walter is expected to be a business-friendly leader and a skilled project planner.
Mr Walter has worked on projects ranging from schools in Victoria to desalinisation projects in South Australia. He worked on the restructure of the Ararat Prison Project and the Melbourne Markets Relocation project. Other major projects include the Melbourne Convention Centre, the Airport Link in Brisbane, Eastlink, and Melbourne Citylink.
When the Victorian officials announced Mr Walter’s appointment, they also suggested they expected him to work closely with the former chairman of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Ministerial Advisory Council Chairman, Professor Bruce Singh. Professor Singh will continue to work on the top of Victorian gambling, as he will now be the top official at the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.
The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation started operations on July 1, 2012 as Australia’s first state-level independent statutory authority. The foundation assists people affected by problem gambling, raises awareness, provides community education to foster responsible gambling, and offers information services about license approval processes and gambling regulation performed by the Gambling Information Resource Office (GIRO).
The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation also manages the only general population gambling study which has ever been conducted on a large scale in Australia. The Victorian Gambling Study is a 3-year longitudinal study which explores gaming from a public health viewpoint. From 2009 to 2012, the study surveyed gamblers and non-gamblers. The findings from their surveys are scheduled to be presented in 2013. VRGR hopes to develop early intervention methods from the study they are conducting.
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